Twins might keep Dozier, boost power with FA

Twins might keep Dozier, boost power with FA

MINNEAPOLIS -- While much of the Twins' offseason has centered around whether they plan to trade second baseman Brian Dozier, and their quest to improve the pitching staff, it doesn't mean the new front office isn't looking for ways to add offense as well.

Coming off a 103-loss season, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have spent much of the offseason evaluating the franchise and building out the baseball operations department. But the Twins have also met with several agents for position players throughout the winter, including the representative for outfielder Jose Bautista.

Twins interested in Bautista?

It's unclear what the level of interest is from both sides, but the Twins are at least doing their due diligence on impact players like Bautista, who reportedly could sign a one-year deal to reset his value on the marketplace much like Nelson Cruz and Dexter Fowler have done in recent seasons.

Hot Stove Tracker

As part of MLB.com's series of bold predictions, the Twins could decide to hold onto Dozier and add a power bat in an effort to show they're not ready for a full rebuild -- and that they can compete sooner rather than later. Falvey and Levine have both maintained they don't believe the roster is one of a 103-loss team, and they could capitalize on a market that has several sluggers available via free agency.

With players like Joe Mauer, Miguel Sano, Byungho Park and Kennys Vargas on the roster, the Twins have a crowded corner-infield situation, but they did outright Trevor Plouffe earlier this offseason. And there is plenty of power available on the market with Mark Trumbo, Mike Napoli, Pedro Alvarez and Bautista still unsigned.

Hot Stove: Brian Dozier

But it would make more sense for the Twins to target a player who can play some outfield instead of primarily playing first, as the Twins currently are counting on a young outfield composed of left fielder Eddie Rosario, center fielder Byron Buxton and right fielder Max Kepler. All three have potential, but they have also battled early inconsistency.

Adding a veteran bat would lengthen Minnesota's lineup and provide a cushion in case Rosario, Buxton or Kepler need to go back to Triple-A Rochester for more seasoning. A veteran leader is also something Falvey and Levine said they are interested in, especially after the impact Torii Hunter had on the team in 2015.

So while it may be a long shot to sign a player of Bautista's caliber coming off the Twins' disappointing 2016 season, it would be a bold move for them not to sell Dozier and add to their lineup rather than subtract from it.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.